“It’s very disheartening to know that the community will be beautiful, but we’re not the intended beneficiaries.”
On Monday September 19th, Denver City Council approved a measure to raise more than $150 million in the next decade from property taxes and new development impact fees to fund the first city-supported fund for affordable housing.
The measure was approved on a 9-4 vote. Denver City Council President Albus Brooks, was one of the council members voting in favor of the measure, he told KGNU that it’s just on component of a response to the housing crisis.
“It’s a huge crisis, I don’t think we’re going to build our way out of it but this is an important step today and over 10,000 folks will be affected in a positive way.”
Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director of Project VOYCE (Voices of Youth Changing Education) says that families in neighborhoods like Globeville, Elyria and Swansea are under threat of displacement due to the forces of gentrification and rising housing costs.
“The interesting thing is that we haven’t quite seen the development yet, and so I think the actual physical development of this space is a couple of years down the line, so we’re still in a community where we know billions of dollars are about to be invested and we don’t have bus stops or sidewalks. It’s very disheartening to know that the community will be beautiful, but we’re not the intended beneficiaries.”
18 year old Katherine Aguilar addressed those who were rallying ahead of last nights city council meeting and spoke of how her childhood friends are moving out of her neighborhood because of the cost of housing.
“It’s kind of sad because I grew up with them mostly and when I see them leave it kind of hurts because I know them.”
The City Council voted unanimously last night to approve an amendment to have a comprehensive housing plan come back to council for approval next year. The amendment requires an annual public hearing on progress or lack of progress in addressing the housing issue and it creates a lot more specificity around how the money will be used.